From Internet Retailer:
Online retail sales in October grew a scant 1% over sales in October 2007, Internet measurement company comScore Inc. reports.
“The overall softness in online retail spending was precipitated by curtailed spending across mid- to lower-income segments, with households earning less than $50,000 exhibiting negative spending growth compared to a year ago,” comScore says.
ComScore says it is the lowest monthly growth since it began tracking e-commerce in 2001 and October was the sixth consecutive month of lower growth than the month before.
According to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, “October represented the softest single month of online retail growth on record, and we can only hope that the recent sharp drop in oil prices will cause a continued easing of inflation and a strengthening in consumer spending as we enter the critical holiday shopping season.”
Data suggests offline retailers may not have cause for similar levels of optimism.
“The U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales, which include autos, gasoline stations and restaurants, decreased 3.3% in October from October last year. The National Retail Federation, the retailers’ trade association, reports that, excluding those three areas, sales decreased 1.3% year-over-year. Auto sales in October fell 25.9% from October a year ago, the Commerce Department reports.”
Online retailers should have a clear indication of whether or not they can expect to eke out a profit let alone break even this holiday season after Black Friday (November 28, 2008) and Cyber Monday (December 1, 2008) arrive respectively.
With the above figures taken into account, online retailers may be the only retail sector with a bright spot this holiday season.